Shopping list for Mike and the 12 A-10 pilots


Apparently a "terse" writer
Staff member
Here's what I've come up with so far:

* A few gameboys plus extra (!) batteries
* Big packs of beef jerky
* Cases of canned ravioli
* Cases of fruit cocktail
* Cases of chili (MikeD is a huge Dinty Moore fan)
* Cases of dehydrated soups
* Cases of dried fruits
* Toilet paper (as suggested by a Desert storm vet)
* "Gentleman Friendly" magazines (as requested)
* Assorted PG-rated magazines
* Mini soaps
* Mini shampoo bottles
* Handy wipes
* Hand-cleansers
* Poore Brothers potato chips (Almost a religion in AZ)
* Bill Johnson's "Big Apple" BBQ sauce (it's an AZ thang)
* Sun screen (lots)
* Lip Balm (lots)
* Moisturizing lotion (lots)
* Blankets (as requested, and I'm working on Delta to see if they want to donate some international biz elite blankets)
* Pillows (see above)
* Maybe even 12 or so Delta Biz Elite toiletry kits
* Toothbrushes (decent quality)
* Toothpaste (decent quality)

Does anyone else have any ideas?
Nail clippers. They could double as a lethal weapon used against the insurgents.

Would they be allowed to sport Jetcareers t-shirts? Maybe our creative department (602) could make a JC-Iraq shirt of some kind for them. Or sell them and use the profit to pay for the care packages. (was idea already mentioned?)

Seems like the military would supply the recreational items but if not maybe something like: football, frisbee, ball and mits...

Listerine/empty listerine bottle with a smooth "spirit" inside

-Sunflower seeds
-Powdered drink mixes (gatorade, etc.)

I've got an old playboy to donate but I would have to think long and hard about giving up my Maxim collection (heh, I said long and hard)
Cards, Uno, Checkers, Chess, Monopoly, Darts, etc.

Novels, crossword puzzle books or other game books.

I may be over estimating the amount of free time they have or their willingness to want to do anything but sleep when not on mission.
maybe some Rolaids
all that dinty moore and canned goods might shock their stomach after eating that bland military food.

the cameras would be good. Maybe MikeD or one of the others might have access to a digital camera and they could send off a picture or two of them enjoying the goods.
When living away from home I always liked a local paper!!

I also think before you go shopping (apart from things requested from the boys) - find out prices and really plan it so you can get the maximum for the money spent!!

How do you ship it out, as that alone will cost a fortune! Do you take it to your local AFB, and they organize it?
I did a walk-thru at Costco to look at prices and such and I think I'll get a lot of bang for the buck at Costco.

On the shipping, I'm going to call Davis-Monthan AFB tomorrow and inquire about that. If not, I'll probably try to pimp FDX or UPS locally here for a good rate in return for some free publicity. Maybe even Delta or America West could 'help out' and get the boxes to the APO for transport.

But if all else fails, shipping is going to be a killer, but if that's what it takes, so be it.
I'd get lots and lots of the things we're sure he needs or wants. While a big variety would be cool, if it turns out they don't need or want some of the stuff, they might instead wish there was more of the primary items.

Maybe we could ask MikeD, "hey, just hypothetically if you could have $200 worth of stuff RIGHT NOW, what would you and your buddies prioritize and want/need the most?" (the numbers a little low, but that will disguise the sweetness of the gift somewhat, and shipping WILL be absolutely killer, probably 60% or more of the total cost of the gifts - especially with that heavy canned food).

It might compromise the surprise a little bit, but I think it would be worth it, just so we'd be sure to get stuff that would be like heaven for them.

Is alcohol allowed? If it is, let me suggest that nasty Irish, just kidding, although it would definitely take the edge off being in Iraq right now.

Seriously, if it's allowed, maybe a nice bottle of wine?
If it isn't a surprise - then, by golly, let's just tell MikeD - hey we have $XXX, what do you want?

That will give his crew something fun to think about and toss around for a few days, and then to look forward to - especially since they can pick out what they want.

Gifts are o-so-much better when you pick them out, whaddya think?
-Cheap plastic ones
-Mach3 replacement blades
-New blades for electric razors if anyone actually uses an electric

Bags/Cans of quality coffee. I'm sure they get stuck with yak wiz.
-New blades for electric razors if anyone actually uses an electric

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I think some of this stuff is a little overboard.. they are only there for 4 or so months, not years and years. Electric razor blades don't wear out in 4 months...

We're trying to make them comfortable, not outfit them for a 2 year expedition or anything.

I'm surprised they need toothpaste, is the government issue nasty or what?
That was actually a suggestion from a gulf war vet on the Delta ALPA forums.

Along with some interesting ways of getting 'gentleman-friendly' magazines to our troops as well.
I think some of this stuff is a little overboard.

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Easy for you to say, from the comfort of your living room.
Do those things last 4 months? I replace my Mach3 blades every 6 shaves or so. Maybe someone has a hairy back

Spit out any ideas you have, they may lead to other ideas much better than the original. No harm.